Trivia’s Facts and More (1/28)

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This informative post will be posted on Saturday along with my usual writing.  You are invited to participate with the opening question.

Brain Teaser Question

Rearranging the letters MEANYRG would give you the name of:

(A)  an animal

(B)  a state

(C)  a city

(D)  an ocean

(E)  a country

(answer found at the end of this post)

Featured Facts

On April 9, 1959, Americans met NASA’s original seven astronauts.  Selected from a group of 32, all seven had served as military test pilots.  They would take America’s fortunes forward with Project Mercury, the nation’s first attempts at manned space flight.

Here is a brief biographical sketch of each astronaut:

  • Alan Shepherd (1923-1998), native of New Hampshire.  On May 5, 1961, he became the first American astronaut to complete a sub-orbital flight.
  • Virgil (Gus) Grissom (1926-1967), native of Indiana.  On July 21, 1961, he completed another sub-orbital flight.
  • John Glenn (1921-2016), native of Ohio.  On February 20, 1962, he successfully orbited three times around Earth.
  • Scott Carpenter (1925-2013), native of Colorado.  On February 24, 1962, he successfully orbited Earth for five hours.
  • Walter (Wally) Schirra (1923-2007), native of New Jersey.  On October 3, 1962, he completed six orbits in nine hours of flight along with completing a scientific mission.
  • Gordon Cooper (1927-2004), native of Oklahoma.  On May 15, 1963, he completed the final and longest Project Mercury mission with a duration of 34 hours spent in space. 
  • Donald (Deke) Slayton (1924-1993), native of Wisconsin.  He was grounded due to a medical condition, but he would be cleared to complete a mission in the 1970s.

Of the seven original astronauts, only Shepherd, Schirra, Grissom, and Cooper would carry out missions in the two-man Gemini flights or three-man Apollo flights.

Grissom would lose his life aboard Apollo 1 in 1967 during a training exercise accident in Florida.  Glenn would later be tapped to fly on the Space Shuttle in 1998 aboard Discovery.

Answer to Brain Teaser Question

(E)  a country

MEANYRG can spell GERMANY.

Trivia’s Facts and More (1/21)

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This informative post will be posted on Saturday along with my usual writing.  You are invited to participate with the opening question.

Brain Teaser Question

Using the root meanings, define the word MANUMIT.

(A)  to manufacture

(B)  to be masculine

(C)  to set free

(answer found at the end of this post)

Featured Facts

One of nature’s most annoying insects is the stink bug.  Known to emit a smell that may resemble moist, mildewed laundry or stinky socks, these insects are quite active from springtime into autumn.

Here are a few interesting facts about the stink bug:

  • Color:  bright green, brown to gray, shiny blue-black, or red.
  • Habitat:  crop fields, orchards, and meadows.
  • Diet:  plant juices and sap.

The life cycle of the stink bug starts with a mature female who will usually lay eggs on the undersurface of foliage before winter arrives.  The eggs hatch in the spring.  Then the wingless nymphs grow into adults after several molts.

The stink bug is blessed with natural defenses.  Their awful smell discourages birds and other predators from snacking on them.  They come in many colors, which may offer the benefit of being well-camouflaged to match the color of a green leaf or even brown tree bark.

Answer to Brain Teaser Question

C

The root word MAN means hand.  The root MIT means send.  MANUMIT means “to send” by “hand”–or set free.

Trivia’s Facts and More (1/14)

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This informative post will be posted on Saturday along with my usual writing.  You are invited to participate with the opening question.

Brain Teaser Question

What letter would come next in this sequence?

O,  T,  T,  F,  F,  S,  S,  E,  ___

(answer found at the end of this post)

Featured Facts

North America is blessed to be home to the second fastest animal in the world.  Second only to Africa’s cheetah, the pronghorn has the ability to reach a speed of 60 miles per hour.

Combining outstanding vision with its extraordinary speed, the pronghorn manages to avoid predators most of the time.  Both males and females have horns.  The male’s horns will grow to a length of 10-12 inches while the female’s remain as small bumps on top of her head.

Here are a few interesting facts about the pronghorn:

  • Able to survive at least a week without water
  • Habitat:  grasslands and deserts
  • Diet:  grass, low shrubs
  • Lifespan:  6-10 years
  • Able to leap up to 15 feet

As herbivores, the pronghorn digests its food twice as it eats, swallows, and then regurgitates the food from its stomach.  The animal then chews up the smaller pieces as cud, which allows for greater absorption of the food’s nutrition. 

The prairies of Montana, the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Nebraska provide the largest year-round range for the pronghorn in the United States.  They will frequently migrate up to 150 miles as they move back and forth between summer and winter feeding grounds.

Answer to Brain Teaser Question

N — for Nine

Trivia’s Facts and More (1/7)

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This informative post will be posted on Saturday along with my usual writing.  You are invited to participate with the opening question.

Brain Teaser Question

If a doctor gives you three pills, telling you to take one very half hour, how many minutes will pass from taking the first pill to the last pill?

(answer found at the end of this post)

Featured Facts

The Cornhusker State of Nebraska entered the American Union on March 1, 1867.  Following the end of the American Civil War, the Nebraska Territory was the first one granted admission to statehood.

While the city of Omaha has been the most populated one in the state, Lincoln has been the capital city.  According to the 2022 U.S. Census, Omaha’s population stood at 486,051 while Lincoln’s was 291,082.

Here are a few interesting facts about Nebraska:

  • State Bird:  Western meadowlark
  • State Flower:  Goldenrod
  • State Motto:  Equality Before the Law

Chimney Rock, located in northwestern Nebraska at Deadwood Gulch, was one of the most noted landmarks on the Oregon Trail.  The Nebraska Legislature has been the only one in the United States to use a single house chamber (unicameral).  The original nickname for the state was the “Tree Planter’s State.”

Answer to Brain Teaser Question

60 minutes.

Trivia’s Facts and More (12/31)

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This informative post will be posted on Saturday along with my usual writing.  You are invited to participate with the opening question.

Brain Teaser Question

Put these statements in the right order.

(A) A woman tries on a dress.

(B) A woman buys a hat.

(C) A man buys a dress.

(D) A woman returns a dress to a store.

(E) A man gives his wife a present.

(answer found at the end of this post)

Featured Facts

Once a month, a special post will be published with something related to the given month.  With the start of a new year just around the corner, it seems appropriate to look at a New Year’s tradition of many Americans.

A traditional southern dish is prepared by many families.  It is called “Hoppin’ John,” and is eaten in the southern United States on New Year’s Day.  The dish dates back to the 1800s, and the main ingredients are black-eyes peas (cow peas), rice, and pork (usually ham or bacon).  Additional sides may include collard greens and corn bread.

By preparing and eating this dish, one hopes to experience luck in the year to come.  Some families may eat the dish on New Year’s Eve while most will enjoy it on New Year’s Day.  

Some of the ingredients of “Hoppin’ John” carry symbolic importance.

  • Black-eyed peas:  represent coins
  • Collard greens:  represent greenbacks (dollars) or cash
  • Corn bread:  represents gold
  • Pork:  recalls cheap cuts of meat provided to enslaved people

One customary act is to eat all but three of the black-eyed peas on one’s plate.  This will promise a trio of benefits:  luck, wealth, and romance.

Answer to Brain Teaser Question

C, E, A, D, B

Trivia’s Facts and More (12/24)

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This informative post will be posted on Saturday along with my usual writing.  You are invited to participate with the opening question.

Brain Teaser Question

The 22nd and 24th U.S. President had the same parents, but they were not brothers.  How could this be?

(answer found at the end of this post)

Featured Facts

Today’s post features six of my favorite Christmas movies.  They will be listed in chronological order from the oldest to the most recent.  If you feel like sharing your favorite Christmas movie, please leave a comment for other readers to see.  Merry Christmas!

“It’s a Wonderful Life”  (1946)

Starring:  James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore

An angel was summoned to save George Bailey, a frustrated businessman.  The director was Frank Capra, and this film was one of his favorites.  The screenplay was based upon a short story, “The Greatest Gift.”

“Miracle on 34th Street”  (1947)

Starring:  Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara, John Payne

The setting was New York City, and Macy’s Department Store became the center of much of the film’s story.  A very young Natalie Wood played the six year-old daughter.  Of course, Santa stole the show in the end.  

“Holiday Affair”  (1949)

Starring:  Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey

This romantic-comedy followed the life of a young widow and her son as she must choose between her “boring” attorney and a down on his luck vagabond.  The screenplay was based upon the story, “Christmas Gift.”

“White Christmas”  (1954)

Starring:  Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen

A successful song and dance duo assisted two sisters in saving a failing Vermont Inn as Christmas approaches without any snow on the ground.  Bing Crosby sang the classic Irving Berlin song of “White Christmas” as the film’s finale, but he had previously sung the song in two other films:  “Holiday Inn” (1942) and “Blue Skies” (1946).

“A Charlie Brown Christmas”  (1965)

This made for TV movie was the first attempt of cartoonist George Schulz to bring his characters to life on the silver screen.  Most of the children’s voices were those of real children.  

“The Christmas Card”  (2006)

Starring:  Ed Asner, John Newton, Alice Evans, Lois Nettleton

This modern-day Hallmark movie brought an American soldier to a small town, guided by an inspirational Christmas card.  The movie was filmed on location in Nevada City, California and Park City, Utah.  

Below are single images from each film (courtesy of Pinterest).  Starting from the left and going clockwise:  Donna Reed and Jimmy Stewart, Edmund Gwenn and Natalie Wood, Janet Leigh and Robert Mitchum, Bing Crosby joined by Rosemary Clooney with Vera-Ellen and Danny Kaye, the Peanuts cast, and John Newton and Ed Asner.

Answer to Brain Teaser Question

They were the same man–Grover Cleveland, the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms.

Trivia’s Facts and More (12/17)

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This informative post will be posted on Saturday along with my usual writing.  You are invited to participate with the opening question.

Brain Teaser Question

What letter would come next in this sequence?

M,  A,  M,  J,  J,  A,  S,  O,  ___

(answer found at the end of this post)

Featured Facts

James Monroe was the 5th American President (1817-1825).  He became the fourth Virginian to serve as President (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison being the first three). 

Here are a few interesting facts about this two-term President:

  • Occupations:  farmer, lawyer
  • Schooling:  attended College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA)
  • Previous political experience:  Governor of Virginia, Secretary of War, State

Two of the most significant accomplishments of the Monroe administration were the passage of the Missouri Compromise in 1820 and the establishment of the Monroe Doctrine.  The Missouri Compromise redefined the division line between slave and free states in the Union.  The Monroe Doctrine stated that no further European colonies would be allowed in the America’s while the United States would remain neutral in European affairs.

Answer to Brain Teaser Question

N–for November

Trivia’s Facts and More (12/10)

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This informative post will be posted on Saturday along with my usual writing.  You are invited to participate with the opening question.

Brain Teaser Question

What could you put in a 50-pound barrel of oil to make it weigh less than 50 pounds?

(answer found at the end of this post)

Featured Facts

In North America’s animal kingdom, one of the smallest and most dangerous creatures is the tiny tick.  Having eight legs, they are arachnids (related to spiders).

Here are a few interesting facts about the tick:

  • Habitat:  bodies of animals, in fields or woods (awaiting an animal host)
  • Diet:  blood
  • Color:  brown to reddish-brown (with leathery or shell-like covering)

Known as “black measles,” Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever came to the forefront when it cast its dark shadow over the Bitterroot Valley in western Montana.  Early settlers in the valley contracted a mysterious disease.  Scientific research began in the early 1900s and culminated in the beginning of the Rocky Mountain Labs research. The lab would research and refine treatments for the dreaded spotted fever, which scientists had discovered was carried by the tiny tick.

Answer to Brain Teaser Question

A hole.

Trivia’s Facts and More (12/3)

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This informative post will be posted on Saturday along with my usual writing.  You are invited to participate with the opening question.

Brain Teaser Question

Put these statements in the right order:

(A) The ship stopped to anchor in Commander Bay

(B) A boy awoke and saw a sea lion

(C) A boy went ashore and napped in a meadow

(D) A boy did not tell what he had seen

(E) A boy got a job on a ship

(answer found at the end of this post)

Featured Facts

The bald eagle is one of the largest birds in the United States.  It is the only eagle unique to the continent of North America.  Since 1782, the bald eagle has been the National Bird and Emblem of the United States.

Here are a few interesting facts about the bald eagle:

  • Habitat:  coastlines and waterways (U.S. and southern Canada)
  • Wingspan:  up to 8 feet
  • Top speed:  between 40 and 45 miles per hour
  • Congress:  name for a group of eagles
  • Lifespan:  between 25 and 40 years in the wild

Facing near extinction in the 1960s from the use of the pesticide DDT, conservation efforts and federal protection of the eagles has led to a dramatic increase in its numbers.  Estimated known nesting pairs have increased from a low of 417 in 1963 to more than 71,000 in 2020.

Answer to Brain Teaser Question

E, A, C, B, D

Trivia’s Facts and More (11/26)

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This informative post will be posted on Saturday along with my usual writing.  You are invited to participate with the opening question.

Brain Teaser Question

Complete the analogy:

MOTH is to CLOTHING as . . .

(A) SHEEP is to WOOL

(B) BUTTERFLY is to WOOD

(C) PUNCTURE is to TIRE

(D) TEAR is to SWEATER

(E) TERMITE is to HOUSE

(answer found at the end of this post)

Featured Facts

The Buckeye State of Ohio was admitted to the Union on March 1, 1803.  The state has proudly claimed to be home of eight  American Presidents:  William Henry Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding.

Here are a few interesting facts about the state:

  • Motto:  With God, All Things Are Possible
  • Capital City:  Columbus (named after Christopher Columbus)
  • Lake Erie frames the northern border; the Ohio River marks the southern one

In the early 1900s, the Canton Bulldogs were organized as a professional football team.  While the team no longer exists, Canton became the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.  Two major amusement parks are located in the state:  King’s Island near Cincinnati; Cedar Point along Lake Erie at Sandusky.

Answer to Brain Teaser Question

E

A moth, which is a living thing, destroys clothing–just as termite, which is a living thing, destroys a house.  Choices C or D would be fine if they described living things.